In The Nacreous Mirrors Of His Little Golden Ball By Hannah E. Phinney

October 23, 2014 Comments Off on In The Nacreous Mirrors Of His Little Golden Ball By Hannah E. Phinney

It was just sacrifice, you say. Just medicine. But we forewarned you. Your son, he has learned terror, and violence. He will adopt the latter to avoid the former. His thoughts writhe already through permutations of future brutality…

WE FOREWARNED YOU. We said, Tend to your blue-haired, green-feathered son. Tend closely – for he sees more than is safe in the nacreous mirrors of his little golden ball.

He sees the last three of the horned family riding through a black and smoky sky. A giant sea-wrenched teacup is their vessel. White banners flutter behind. She is goblet-bottom, cheek against cold porcelain, concealed under tattered webbing of pallid silk.

He sees her hiding in drapes. Porters carrying the palanquin across a tawny landscape of slow-moving mists as she flees through camouflaged strategies of buff and ivory. Inside, her neck elongates, her jacket unravels. Her horns reflect an unknown light. She pierces the bodies of tiny crows with long hairpins and fixes them to her frothy orange hair, then crushes black butterflies between thumb and index, dusting her thighs with the pieces. Enchantments all to veil her existence, should she not reach protection in time…

He sees the dragon, fangle-toothed and twisting with red disease. A mountain of meat and flesh and scales. He has sought out the close-coated men to reverse his dying. They shake their yellow faces and their black hair bulbs jiggle. They say, only innards from the horned lady will do…

He sees her pupils overgrown with dark moonlit dread. They fill red; her skin glows; her pleated blue dress shifts purple. The dragon’s enormous body is before her. He brings her in his jaws to the temple of men. They prepare their thin sharp tools and begin. They take their time. Their precision is admirable. Her agony rises atmospherically, leaving far below the crows and the butterflies, the mothers and the fathers, the last of the horned familial lines, and the winged worm soars, tusks straight, sinews freshly vermillion while her body lies dead in a darkened yard near the sea. Her family, her story brittles to extinction. Her skin slipping away from bones white.

© 2014 Hannah E. Phinney

Hannah E. Phinney recently received her M.A. in linguistics. She is currently slinging booze and writing surrealistic flash fiction while deciding whether to spend another decade in school. Hannah lives in San Francisco. More of her stories can be found at

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